Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), despite ongoing litigation and threats of litigation, very unceremoniously reinstated the Grooveshark app on Android phones this week after taking it off its app lineup more than a year ago due to several copyright infringement lawsuits by major recording labels.
Grooveshark’s parent company, Empire Media, is being sued in federal court by three recording labels for copyright infringement. The service allows users to listen to copies of songs uploaded by other users, even if Grooveshark doesn’t have a license for that song. Grooveshark has had a free, ad-sponsored service on its Web site, while the app service costs $6-$9 a month. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) removed the Grooveshark app from its store and its Android phones in April of last year due to the infringement claims, but even that was eight months after Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) took the same action and removed the app from its App Store and its iOS devices. Apple hasn’t restored the app as of yet, while it seems that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) reinstated it in the wake of a New York state court ruling.
Apparently, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) decided to reinstate Grooveshark after a New York state judge ruled that responding to “takedown notices” -requests to remove certain songs from the service due to copyright infringement – is sufficient for answering to copyright infringement charge, which Grooveshark has been doing. The plaintiff in the case, Universal Music, claimed that removing the songs from the service was not adequate recourse. However, now Universal filed suit in federal court, with Sony Music Group and Warner Music joining in the filing, which alleges Grooveshark employees and executives personally uploaded “thousands” of songs to the service.
Now that the app is back on Android, would that mean that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) attorneys will continue to be in business and give legal support to Grooveshark in the new federal battle?